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News > MedCenter Air Completes Transition to All-EC135 Fleet


MedCenter Air Completes Transition to All-EC135 Fleet

Four Aircraft Serve the Region on a 24/7 Basis

October 11, 2010

Grand Prairie, Texas – The MedCenter Air Program at Carolinas Medical Center is now operating an all-EC135 fleet, with the latest aircraft entering service in May. The aircraft include state-of-the-art cockpit technology as well as the latest medical equipment. In addition to accommodating one or two litters, the EC135s are equipped with a neo-natal sled, balloon pump, and liquid oxygen. Three of MedCenter Air’s helicopters are EC135 P2+s, along with an EC135 P1 as a maintenance backup. The aircraft are also equipped with the latest safety features including Night Vision Goggles, GPWS, color weather radar, satellite tracking, and redundant communication systems.

“When we starting evaluating replacement aircraft for our fleet, we were very thorough in our review and evaluation process of available helicopter models,” said Jason Schwebach, MedCenter Air’s Assistant Vice President. “In selecting the EC135, we chose a helicopter that allows us to put the patient first, both in terms of medical needs during transport and the safe execution of the mission.”

MedCenter Air has three bases that serve parts of North and South Carolina. The addition of the fourth EC135 allows MedCenter Air to keep all three bases active on a 24/7 basis and ensures operational availability.

“We’ve been very pleased with the EC135’s performance and capabilities, which has enabled us to improve response times in our service area” said Schwebach. “The addition of the fourth EC135 keeps our fleet fully functional when scheduled maintenance is required or a particular aircraft is down for service. This allows us to be available when needed and better support the communities we serve.”

The EC135 is a proven choice for air medical operators, accounting for over 50 percent of all twin-engine air medical services deliveries over the past decade. The Fenestron® tail rotor and rear clamshell doors offer the safest and easiest loading possible, while the aircraft’s anti-resonance isolation system ensures that patients are given the smoothest possible ride. The EC135 offers excellent maneuverability for landing in confined areas and is environmentally friendly.

“The EC135 has an extremely low noise signature and the exhaust system produces less fumes than many other helicopters,” continued Schwebach. “As an organization operating within the healthcare environment this is important to us. The enhanced reliability of the EC135’s autopilot and its single pilot IFR capability were also important considerations in our choice of aircraft.”

 “We are pleased that the EC135 is the helicopter of choice for this outstanding air medical program,” said Marc Paganini, American Eurocopter President and CEO. “The EC135 is the perfect combination of size, performance and advanced technology for EMS operations and we are confident that it will continue to fit well with the scope of service MedCenter Air provides.”

About CHS
Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the leading healthcare organizations in the Southeast, includes 32 affiliated hospitals in North and South Carolina.  CHS provides a medical home to all patients, regardless of their specific healthcare needs, through a network of some 500 locations that includes not only hospitals but physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and other facilities.  These operations comprise more than 1,500 employed physicians, 6,300 licensed beds and 48,000 people.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer that produces, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer in the United States. The company is a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, and is an affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world. American Eurocopter’s product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facilities are located in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS, that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program.


For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at AMTC 2010, see the related coverage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida:


View the Press release archive.

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